609 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 513.578.6660 Hours

Book a Table


Welcome Executive Chef David Kelsey!

Posted on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019



“Working with the team at 21c has brought me great joy in my own personal journey and culinary career. I look forward to continually striving and inspiring the minds of diners by bringing the best ingredients and the most thoughtful cooking techniques to the forefront of Cincinnati’s burgeoning culinary scene.”
–David Kelsey, Executive Chef

Cincinnati, OH (January 23, 2019) 
21c Museum Hotels, the award-winning Louisville-based boutique hotel, contemporary art museum, and restaurant group, announced today the appointment of David Kelsey as executive chef of its Queen City restaurant, Metropole, which is located in 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati (609 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH).

Kelsey has been a part of the 21c family since 2016, first serving as a sous chef and then shining as the company’s corporate executive sous chef from 2017-2019. His new role as executive chef at Metropole ushers a renewed purpose for New American cuisine that focuses on nourishing food with a contemporary vision. Prior to his many roles at 21c, he helped Cincinnati-based restaurant Taste of Belgium expand to new locations and developed new menus as their executive chef. Kelsey’s love for a collaborative culinary environment creates an exciting venue for experimentation between food, beverage, and the art of hospitality.

Kelsey offers a renewed vision of New American cuisine. His menu focuses on the joy of nourishing food with a contemporary take on old world techniques. Metropole highlights a diverse offering that utilizes global techniques mixed with the culinary traditions found throughout the Ohio Valley. Metropole’s ever-changing menu showcases the area’s sustainable farmers and producers while paying homage to the full potential of often undervalued ingredients such as the parsnips in the new duck entrée and a deep variety of mushrooms and their stems, utilized in the appetizer’s gravy, in the hearty mushroom toast. At Metropole, you’ll find a new selection of specially crafted dishes like charred pear and beet salad with cheese curds, watercress, and MadHouse vinegar; garlic butter shrimp with garlic confit, grilled lemon, and toast; duck breast with parsnips two ways, charred cranberry relish, and cocoa; and pan-seared monkfish with smoked celeriac, kohlrabi, radish, dashi, and chili oil, to name a few.

“David’s natural warmth and enthusiasm for life comes through in his food,” said Sarah Robbins, Chief Operations Officer at 21c Museum Hotels. “Seeking inspiration from both the incredible local resources in the Cincinnati community and from 21c’s art on the walls, David delivers something special and thoughtful.  We couldn’t be happier to have him at the helm.”


Our founders are as passionate about hospitality and sustainably raised heritage and local foods as they are about integrating contemporary art into daily life. Therefore, Metropole and Executive Chef David Kelsey have a unique point of view, curated artwork throughout the public and private dining areas, ultimately creating a relevant sense of place.

Exhibitions currently on view in Metropole:

The bar and lounge at Metropole offer light bites, a rotating selection of bottled favorites as well as craft beers on tap. Enjoy a robust selection of new and old-world wines with a special emphasis on varietals from a number of lesser-known regions. The bartenders at Metropole bring new life to craft cocktails with farm fresh ingredients and creative interpretations of classic favorites. Thanks to 21c’s founding roots in Louisville, the spirits menu highlights a number of Kentucky’s finest Bourbons and Ryes.

Metropole also offers a bespoke French Press program, highlighting a rotating selection of coffees by Cincinnati’s local micro-roasters. Tea service is provided by regional favorite Elmwood Inn.

From farm to table, Metropole’s commitment to building strong local relationships is at the heart of Kelsey’s menus. Chef works closely with a number of local farmers and artisanal producers with a continued focus on increasing new and existing collaborations in the Queen City. Metropole’s purveyors include:

Blue Oven Bakery, Williamsburg, Ohio; Woodland Farm, Goshen, Kentucky; Dean Family Farm, Ohio;  Elmwood Inn, Danville, Kentucky; Carriage House Farm, North Bend Ohio; Greensleeves Farms, Alexandria, Kentucky; Shelton Heritage Farm, Adams County, Ohio; Colonel de Gourmet Spices; French press coffees come from a variety of local micro-roasters like Northern Kentucky’s Carabello Coffee.

21c Museum Hotels, an award-winning hospitality company based in Louisville, Kentucky, is pushing the boundaries of both the museum and hotel worlds to create a new kind of travel experience. The company was founded as a single property by contemporary art collectors and preservationists Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, whose mission was to share innovative contemporary art with the public and participate in the revitalization of downtown Louisville. The couple opened the first 21c in 2006 along downtown’s West Main Street, rehabilitating a series of 19th-century warehouses to create a union of genuine hospitality, thoughtful design, and culinary creativity — all anchored by a contemporary art museum. Today, 21c operates eight museum hotels in Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati, Ohio; Bentonville, Arkansas; Durham, North Carolina; Lexington, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee, Oklahoma City, and Kansas City, 21c projects are also under development in Chicago, Illinois; and Des Moines, Iowa. The company is equally focused on creating unique, chef-driven restaurants that are as much a part of the community as each hotel. The 21c restaurant portfolio includes; Proof on MainMetropoleThe HiveCounting HouseLockboxMary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge, Gray and Dudley, The Savoy, and Garage Bar.

Metropole is open from 5:30pm – 10:00pm Monday through Thursday, 5:30pm – 11:00pm Friday and Saturday, and 5:00pm – 9:30pm Sunday. The lounge is open 3:00pm – 12:00am Sunday through Thursday and 3:00pm – 1:00am Friday and Saturday, serving the bar menu until 12:00am. Metropole also provides all banquet and catering services and in-room dining for 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati. You can follow Metropole here at metropoleonwalnut.com, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.